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Are you really burning so many calories on your treadmill?

increase the speed gradually

I have always wondered how treadmills calculate the amount of calories we burn. Are they accurate? Do different people burn different amount of calories when exercising?  

According to strength coach and fitness trainer Arnav Sarkar, ‘Treadmill calculators use your bodyweight and the work done to calculate how many calories are burnt during the session. The problem with this is that it does not take your unique factors like body fat and fitness level into consideration. For e.g., if two men weigh 75 kg but one has a higher fat percentage, then he will burn less calories for the same effort.’

‘Also, as an individual gets fitter by regular training, he will burn less calories for the same distance and speed. In both cases, the treadmill will show the same number of calories being burnt, which is not the reality. So, I would suggest avoiding calories burned displayed on the treadmill, rather focus on increasing distance and speed to keep progressing,’ adds Sarkar. Read about some tips that will help you supercharge your cardio workout!

How to calculate the real calories burnt

While treadmills calculate the amount of calories burnt using factors like distance and speed, you body has a very different algorithm.

According to a study published in Journal of Sports Sciences, calories burned could be calculated using certain formulae depending on your gender, weight, age, time spent and heart rate. However, even this method (despite its complexity) is not completely accurate as there are just way too many factors that influence calorie expenditure.

All said and done, the inaccuracy of cardio machines shouldn’t dissuade you from using them. You should always strive to do better than you did before. Here’s how to use the treadmill effectively to lose weight.

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